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Showing posts from September, 2015

Making Copper Leaves, A Picture Tutorial (Yay it's finally Fall!)

Last night we had a spectacular sunset with the sky looking like molten lava.  This morning, I can't tell you how excited I am that it is cloudy....and I'm wearing a sweater!  At the weekend it was still in the mid 90's but today it is definitely Fall.   Finally I can legitimately think about pumpkins and pretty leaves!

This morning I've been making some copper leaves for a small garland to decorate a frame I bought at our local Hobby Lobby store.  The frame is half chalkboard and half chicken wire and it is destined for the mantel in the living room. 

I've worked with this copper sheet before and I love how it looks.  The copper cuts easily with regular scissors.  The cut edges are sharp though, so if you try this be careful.  I got the copper in my local Michael's and they sold gloves next to it but I like to live dangerously!

Use a cutting mat to protect your surface.  Carefully remove the copper from the box and un roll it.  Cut out as many freehand leaf shape…

Some Finished Pincushions and Butte Fire Update

First things first.  I finally made a decision about what to use to hang these little mini stockings with!  I usually use rustic jute for my hanging pumpkins and ribbon for my owls but neither of those felt right for the stockings.  Last year I used red ribbon but the knots kept slipping and I had to use a dab of glue on each which took ages.  This year I have used a sturdy but soft, tightly spun cotton yarn.  It doesn't unravel at the ends and drapes nicely.  

I also stuffed the four cherry blossom pincushions and four magical tree stump pincushions with the little fairy doors.  In addition to finishing up those, I also made six little tree stump pincushions.  To mix things up I used some different flowers and color combinations on some of those.

Today I began working on some hanging owls.  

Butte Fire Update This fire has grown to almost 72,000acres and incredibly is 40%contained as of this evening.  166 homes have been lost and 116 other buildings.  The fire is spreading south and …

The Butte Fire, Sierra Nevada California

All this week we've had triple digit temperatures.  The heat has been relentless and exhausting.  It hasn't cooled off at night and I haven't been at my best!  The thing that kept me going was the promise of a cooler weekend in the mountains.  After school on Friday we set off, noting two things as we drove over the pass to reach the Central Valley, one - how low the water level was in the huge San Luis reservoir and two - that there was brown smoke hanging in the air.   

San Luis reservoir

Smoke in the atmosphere usually means beautiful sunsets like this one.
I knew there was a fire further north in the "Gold Country".  What I didn't know is that because of the conditions in the parched Sierra foothills, the "Butte" fire had exploded to nearly 64,000acres and was only 5% contained. California Governor Brown had issued a State of Emergency for the fire area.  As we drove the smoke became worse and as we reached Angels Camp in the dark, we could see the…

On My Worktable This Week

I've been working on pincushions this week and have four cherry blossom and four magical tree stump ones ready for stuffing.  Today I cut out and started on some tree stump pincushions.  These have sold well at the shows I have done so I thought I'd make a few for the up-coming quilt show.  I have a box full of mini stockings and I am trying to decide what to use as the hanging ribbon.  Last year I used narrow red ribbon but I wasn't 100% happy with how that looked and I had to use a tiny bit of glue on each knot to stop the knots from slipping open.  I'm thinking that I will use some kind of fine natural twine, nothing too chunky though.  I'll be working on the tree stump pincushions over the weekend.  

Printing Paper Bags

I had a printing session one morning this week to block print my bird design on the brown paper bags I use as packaging.  The bags are the small size paper lunch bags that I buy at Target.  The bird image is a lino block I made a couple of years ago and it has become my signature bag.  I love everything about the printing process from the smell of the ink to the soothing repetitive motions.  Plus, you never really know what you are going to get!  I printed about 60 bags before running out.  I will need to spend another morning printing some more after I have bought more bags.  

Embroidered Hanging Pumpkins

I finished a whole lot of these pumpkins.  This batch is for the quilt show that I will be selling at at the end of September.  Any left after that will be added to my shop and I will likely end up making more since I sold lots of these last year and sold out.  This year I have made some with embroidery and some with little appliqué flowers and leaves.  When I display them at the quilt show I use a metal jug filled with tall branches that I harvest from my tree.  I hang the little pumpkins from those branches.  It adds some good height to the table in my booth and the pumpkins look great hanging there.  

Yesterday I started on some tiny Christmas stockings.  These are for my booth at the quilt show too.  Again, I made a few of these for the show last year and sold them all.  I then made lots for my shop and this blue one is the only one I had left.  They are really small, perfect for a candy cane or a rolled up dollar bill!  I'm making them in bright, mostly non-traditional colors.…